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Showing posts from September, 2010

Thomas Jefferson and Mohammad Ali Jinnah: Dreams from two founding fathers

By Akbar Ahmed Mohammad Ali Jinnah "You are free; you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other place of worship. . . . We are starting in the days when there is no discrimination, no distinction between one community and another, no discrimination between one caste or creed and another. We are starting with this fundamental principle that we are all citizens and equal citizens of one state." These are the words of a founding father -- but not one of the founders that America will be celebrating this Fourth of July weekend. They were uttered by Mohammed Ali Jinnah, founder of the state of Pakistan in 1947 and the Muslim world's answer to Thomas Jefferson. When Americans think of famous leaders from the Muslim world, many picture only those figures who have become archetypes of evil (such as Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden) or corruption (such as Hamid Karzai and Pervez Musharraf). Meanwhile, many in the Muslim world re

Interview of Muhammad Ali Jinnah with Doon Campbell, Reuters' Correspondent, New Delhi, 21st May 1947

Mr. Jinnah talking to Louis Fischer of Time magazine in 1945 Doon Campbell: What sort of relationship do you envisage between Pakistan and Hindustan? Muhammad Ali Jinnah: Friendly and reciprocal in the mutual interest of both. That is why I have been urging: let us separate in a friendly way and remain friends thereafter. Doon Campbell: How would you divide the armed forces? Do you envisage a defence pact or any other kind of military alliance between Pakistan and Hindustan? Muhammad Ali Jinnah: All the armed forces must be divided completely, but I do envisage an alliance, pact or treaty between Pakistan and Hindustan again in the mutual interest of both and against any aggressive outsider. Doon Campbell: Do you favour a federation of Pakistan states even if there is to be partition of Punjab and Bengal? Muhammad Ali Jinnah: The new clamour for partition that is stated is by the vocal section of the caste Hindus in Bengal and the Sikhs in particular in the Punjab